Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

US electoral interference in the Philippines (1 of 7) by Ken Fuller

Note: I will be publishing all seven parts.

Hi All,

Today's Daily Tribune column, the first in a series of seven (see below), discusses US electoral interference in the Philippines.



US electoral interference in the Philippines (1 of 7)
·         Written by  Ken Fuller 
·         Tuesday, 30 May 2017 00:00
·         Daily Tribune
There has been much discussion of possible Russian interference in last year’s presidential election in the USA. Are US hands clean in this regard? This series of articles will examine the US role in Philippine elections between 1946 and 1965.
With the death of President Manuel Quezon in New York in 1944, General Douglas MacArthur found himself saddled with a Commonwealth President he did not want, as his eyes were on Manuel Roxas.

At least for public consumption, during the early months of his re-occupation of the Philippines MacArthur gave the impression that he would have no truck with collaborators, issuing a proclamation demanding the arrest of all “who voluntarily have given aid, comfort or sustenance to the enemy.” MacArthur’s public position was almost certainly determined by official US policy at this stage: Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes had let it be known that the US Army should “shoot or hang any Filipino who had anything to do with the puppet government no matter what reasons they may have had for cooperating.”

Then again, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a directive to MacArthur’s GHQ, ordering: “You will remove collaborationists from positions of political and economic influence. Their immediate disposition is a matter for your determination, bearing in mind that the ultimate disposition of all civil collaborators is primarily the responsibility of the civil authorities.”
It soon became apparent, however, that MacArthur had no interest in a determined prosecution of the collaborators, many of whom were not only his pre-war friends and business associates but also essential allies in his campaign to ensure that it was Manuel Roxas and not Osmeña who emerged as the first president of an independent Philippines and that the pre-war economic arrangements in the islands were not disturbed.

After Roxas’s “liberation” by MacArthur in April 1945, the general entered into a spirited defense of the former, insisting to Osmeña: “I have known Gen. Roxas for twenty years and I know personally that he is no threat to our military security. Therefore we are not detaining him.” Later, he would claim that Roxas had supplied his GHQ with “vital intelligence of the enemy,” that he had been “one of the prime factors in the guerrilla movement” and that “it was under my own personal orders that he stayed in the Philippines.”

Months later, the Manila Daily News (owned by the Roxas family!) would claim that Roxas “has already been cleared by no less an Army authority than general of the Army Douglas MacArthur...Gen. Roxas was recognized as the leader of the underground, or guerrillas in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation.”

At the same time as Roxas’s “liberation,” four other members of the puppet government were also captured but these, unlike Roxas, were detained by the Americans. An attempt was made to justify this on the grounds that, unlike them, Roxas held a commission in the US Army; but in truth this also applied to other collaborators who had been interned.
Before the war, Roxas had been the senior partner of the main law firm representing the interests of the Soriano family (Andres Soriano, owner of the San Miguel Brewery, was now a member of MacArthur’s staff), another partner being arch-collaborator Benigno Aquino. Roxas had surrendered to the Japanese in Davao in mid-1942. He was released into the custody of Jose P. Laurel, who became president in the Japanese puppet regime in 1943, and placed under surveillance, becoming chair of the Economic Planning Board.

There is some evidence that he continued to maintain links with MacArthur and Quezon, but the claim that Roxas had been a guerrilla leader was simply ridiculous.

In September 1945, the progressive Democratic Alliance would send a cable to Secretary of the Interior Ickes asserting that “Roxas” behavior during Japanese occupation clearly marked him as collaborator. He and other puppets not only gave support to Japanese forces but also organized and pressed puppet constabulary to fight the guerrillas in the name of peace and order.”

It was no surprise that MacArthur chose Roxas as his presidential candidate for, more than any other political figure, he was locked into the tight circle of elite businessmen into which MacArthur had inserted himself before the war. In 1937 the US State Department had used Roxas to warn Andres Soriano that his fascist activities (he headed the Manila Falange) were in danger of putting him on the wrong side of the Espionage Act. According to a report to the State Department in 1945, “Roxas is said to be especially popular with officers of the American Army who have financial interests in the Philippines, such as Brig. Gen. Courtney Whitney and Colonel Soriano.”

During Roxas’s election campaign, Joaquin “Mike” Elizalde would spend $200,000 on his behalf and Soriano, reportedly, an even larger amount. However, there is a possibility that a much more formal agreement existed between Roxas and MacArthur.

According to the Constantinos’ The Continuing Past, indeed, Roxas confided to Sen. Jose Roy that “he had a secret agreement with the General to run for the presidency.”

When it is realized that Roxas had counter-signed the order by which Quezon had enriched MacArthur to the tune of $500,000 in January 1942, one possibility which immediately suggests itself is that this transaction was part of a long-term plan to commit MacArthur to Roxas in the manner which he appeared to understand better than any other: personal gain. Military historian Eric Larrabee hints at this when he asks in relation to the gift: “What was the role of Manuel Roxas, who... later received much-needed support from MacArthur in his campaign to become Quezon’s successor?”

In August 1945 MacArthur released practically all the Filipinos still in custody for collaboration — over 5,000 of them. The Congress was thus swollen by the returning collaborators, as were municipal and provincial administrations, leading the US consul general in Manila to predict that “the eventual result of MacArthur’s action will be to strengthen Roxas in the coming elections...” and that no action would be taken against the collaborators. He was right: Roxas granted amnesty to all collaborators in 1948.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren--- not what they are cracked up to be.

Many people are coming to understand that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are not what they are cracked up to be and not as "great" as some people would like us to believe they are.

And there short-comings are especially evident when one looks at their foreign policy stands and where they stand on health care reform.

They have yet to join the fight to end the wars.

They both vote to fund the wars.

And they both go along with Wall Street's imperialist agenda... in fact, neither even acknowledge the very basic and fundamental fact that these are imperialist wars.

One does not have to be "great" in order to side with humanity against these dirty imperialist wars... but, one at least needs to have a conscience and the ethical, moral and political courage to stand with the majority of humanity in opposing these dirty imperialist wars.

I would note that neither Warren nor Sanders has even had the courage to oppose the modernization of the nuclear first strike arsenal.

Both have derided North Korea, thus siding with the Wall Street imperialists and fanning the flames of war.

And neither Warren nor Sanders has stood up and opposed the U.S. financing the construction of the Jeju Naval Base--- ruining a small fishing community.

And, neither one--- although they are hardly alone even among many liberals, progressives and leftists--- supports beating swords into plowshares by using a peace dividend derived from disarmament and ending these dirty Wall Street imperialist wars to fund a National Public Health Care System--- far superior to what we have now or even single-payer universal health care or this scheme that has been advocated by the Democrats at every election since 1948 as a gimmick to get votes and then conveniently forgotten after the election: Medicare for All... and when the truth be told, Medicare isn't any greater a health care program than Warren and Sanders are "great" politicians.

And, both Sanders and Warren went right along with the corruption in the Democratic Party that gave us Hillary Clinton as a candidate which put this SOB Trump in the White House.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren "went along to get along."

In fact, we don't have one single solid leftist, progressive or even liberal in the entire United States Congress that we can rely on on to carry forward our struggles for peace, social and economic justice.

The fact is, only a massive, broad-based people's front movement in the streets and at the ballot box can stop Trump now... and we have yet to build this movement because we have relied on the Democrats and their partners--- the foundation-funded organizations together with the millionaire labor leaders--- to initiate this struggle.

We don't even have Communist or socialist parties which are usually the catalysts and initiators of these kinds of movements up to the tasks as they are too mired in their own sectarianism.

But, all of this can change very rapidly if working people put their minds and activities into correcting all of this which really isn't that big of a task if we take the needed steps together... it has been done before, and more often than what some like to admit because they are satisfied with the status quo.

The knowledge required is not rocket science but it does take some time to study a little history, economics and politics... what I call the politics and economics of livelihood--- Marxism.

Some people like to boast they are "non-Marxist socialists" and "democratic socialists." This is nothing but a cheap attempt to spread anti-Communist poison which is used to divide people just like the poison of racism does.

Our Wall Street enemies just love such thinking because Marxism has been, and continues to be, the main line of ideological defense for the working class against capitalism and for socialism--- our only alternative to capitalism and these insane, illegal, unconstitutional and barbaric imperialist wars and everything that goes with them.

While Sanders and Warren occasionally from time-to-time take liberal, progressive of even leftist position they do not do so consistently.

More importantly, neither Sanders nor Warren are helping to free us from this two-party trap even when their supporters ask them to.

We should not shun Sanders or Warren as allies when they side with us but we must not sit in silence when they work with our Wall Street enemies--- especially when they support Wall Street's imperialist agenda.

Let us also be clear in this--- Sanders and Warren talk about political revolution but they fail to address the need to take both political and economic power away from Wall Street.

Let's work to build the movements we need for real change--- movements in the streets and at the ballot box.

What is required is a massive anti-monopoly/anti-imperialist people's front if we are going to stop Trump.

We would be well served to take a look at the movements which forced Lyndon Johnson not to seek re-election and the way the movement to impeach Nixon developed in a grassroots way.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Trump's threats directed towards North Korea are total insanity.

What is this display of Wall Street's U.S. imperialist might trying to bully and badger North Korea costing us?

Two aircraft carriers accompanied by a massive strike group armed with nuclear weapons; what Trump refers to as "armadas."

All of this is costing us billions of dollars; and for what? To prove we are the world's biggest bully?

This at a time when the new liberal South Korean government is saying they don't want any of this; that they seek peaceful resolution of problems between them and North Korea.

And the price we pay for all this militarism and threatening of war is not having decent health care, education, housing and jobs right here at home.

Total insanity.

It isn't just Trump who is crazy. The whole bunch of these politicians in Washington are off their rocker... there isn't a sane person sitting in the United States Congress. Not one single one of these Wall Street bribed politicians is going to stand up and raise their voice in opposition to this imperialist aggression directed towards North Korea.

Every single member of Congress needs to have their head examined.

What we need is some kind of "New Broom Electoral Coalition" backed by a massive people's front for peace, social and economic justice mobilizing people in the streets--- a good stiff "new broom" to sweep the entire Congress clean.

People's power must replace Wall Street dictate maintained through bribery and corruption.

While Trump targets North Korea he wines and dines with a bunch of Saudi sheiks robbing us at the gas pump... go figure.

Friday, May 19, 2017

What would Lincoln say?

"The people are the rightful masters of the Congress and the courts."

President Abraham Lincoln

I wonder what Lincoln would have thought about the parasitical and corrupt Wall Street merchants of death and destruction becoming the masters of the President, Congress and the Courts?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Building the people's front.

I'm not buying into this line that the firing of James Comey as head of the FBI is part of some great big division in the ruling class--- those who want war with the Russians and good guys like Trump being maligned because he wants to peacefully work with the Russians.

things There is no doubt the Wall Street ruling class is in disarray and divided on many questions--- apparently they are having a great deal of trouble sorting through their own lies meant to disorient us.
But, Wall Street does remain united in carrying out its thoroughly reactionary imperialist agenda of wars abroad paid for by shoving austerity measures down our throats to pay for these dirty wars which are waged for the same reason these capitalists do anything and everything--- for maximum profits derived from the exploitation of labor and the rape of Mother Nature, the only two things, together, capable of creating wealth.

Wall Street has no intent of getting along with anyone--- everyone, including its junior partners who are also imperialist powers, are its enemy to the extent they stand in the way of Wall Street hogging all the profits.

The fact is, there are no peace loving sections of the Wall Street ruling class... greed drives them all towards war. Capitalism has grown into a barbaric and savage monster known as imperialism--- and this is why we need socialism.

There are no "nice guys" in Wall Street's ruling class or among its many well paid servants which includes both Republicans and Democrats along with all of these over-paid pundits and the many well-heeled muddle-headed upper middle class intellectuals, the millionaire labor leaders and the foundation-funded "think tanks." There goal and objective is to make sure their rotten system survives epitomized and embodied by crooked and corrupt scumbags like Roger Stone.

Wall Street along with its junior partners is our enemy; there are no others. Without building a massive united people's front that is both anti-imperialist and anti-monopoly for peace, social and economic justice capable of mobilizing people in the streets and at the ballot box intent on taking political and economic power away from Wall Street we are doomed.

A defense of democracy demands Trump and his entourage, a gaggle of goose-stepping fascist bastards, be driven from office in one way or another in order to strengthen and steel the people's front. The people's front will be built and strengthened as we move forward in the struggle to defend, expand and strengthen democracy, for real reforms and socialism.

There is no other way out of this mess we are in.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

So, "In These Times" magazine doesn't like the word "activist"...

But, its editor and writers love the word "Democrat."

Al Gore missed this inconvenient truth, again, in his new movie…

Al Gore missed this inconvenient truth, again… see the trailer here.

Climate change and the military-industrial complex

From Canadian Dimension Magazine: This was written in reply to our recently published interview with Noam Chomsky about climate change. You can read the original Chomsky interview at: https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-greening-of-noam-chomsky-a-conversation.

The one important aspect of climate change the Left keeps missing is the fact that Wall Street’s very lucrative military-industrial complex leaves the largest carbon footprint of any industry.

So, why have the peace and environmental movements, along with most of the Left, failed to make this important connection?

I’m surprised neither Chomsky nor Canadian Dimension brought this important connection forward in this interview.

How much of what is produced from the Tar Sands will be consumed by the Military-Industrial Complex?

One aircraft carrier of the Nimitz class carries three million gallons of aircraft fuel. Fuel for just 80 aircraft. The U.S. typically deploys six of these aircraft carriers during manoeuvres, conflicts and wars. This alone is one heck of a carbon footprint and we still have to figure out what kind of carbon footprint is created manufacturing these aircraft carriers and planes.

And this example is just the tip of the melting iceberg.

Consider all the mining and manufacturing which goes into producing for militarism and wars – what kind of carbon footprint is created in preparation for wars, by wars and rebuilding in the aftermath of wars?

There is a point to be made about global warming and militarism and wars which leads me to conclude that the most effective way to fight global warming and climate change is to fight for peace by “beating swords into plowshares.”

For some reason all these foundation-funded peace organizations and environmental organizations don’t want to acknowledge that the Military-Industrial Complex bears primary responsibility for global warming and climate change. Perhaps because the “great philanthropists” funding the foundations profit so handsomely from militarism and wars?

If changing out light bulbs contributes to ending global warming and climate change, can you imagine the contribution peace would make towards this effort?

It seems our environmental and peace movements could use what the great labour leader and working class revolutionary, William Z. Foster, advised “a good strong dose of anti-imperialist education,” connecting all the dots.

Feel free to copy this and pass it out to people when you go see the movie.

Alan Maki
is a labor, peace and environmental activist.

 Blog: Thoughts from Podunk: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/

Contact info:     

Phone: 651-587-5541          E-mail: red_finn@live.com

Friday, May 12, 2017

We need a massive "people's front" to save us from Trump

David Gergen a high-paid CNN pundit, who worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents, made an important point--- unless millions of Americans had not taken to the streets, Johnson and Nixon would not have been forced from office... Johnson in not seeking re-election and Nixon resigning from office.

The same is true today and both Democrats and Republicans are doing everything possible to prevent people from mobilizing in the streets to run Trump and his Administration from office.

Trump and his administration should be driven from office not for anything they did with the Russians but because of the way they have undermined the Constitution and Bill of Rights and using lie after lie to continue to wage these dirty imperialist wars and the attacks on the rights and livelihoods of the American people.

It is disgusting and shameful Democrats are willing to put us through four more years of Trump in order to try to win elections--- and we all know that even if the Democrats win in 2018 and 2020 the wars will continue just as the attacks on the rights and livelihoods will continue.

We should move into the streets calling for the entire Trump Administration to clear out of Washington while advancing an agenda intended to strengthen our democratic rights, improve our livelihoods while, most importantly, calling for an end to these dirty imperialist wars--- the Democrats and their partners, the millionaire labor leaders and their foundation-funded front groups will never advance such a progressive people's agenda.

All we get is lie after lie from Trump followed by more lies and deceit from the Democrats... all part of Wall Street's agenda which includes this two-party trap.

Peace will never be on their agenda.

Our rights will never be defended and strengthened and our lives and livelihoods will never be improved by Republicans or Democrats who want to suck us into defending a rotten capitalist system breeding all this graft, greed, corruption and wars defended by a stream of never ending lies and deceit.

And make no mistake about this... the rot permeates the entire political system--- local, state and national--- all intended to maintain this rotten capitalist economic system; the political and economic are inseparable and Democrats and Republicans representing Wall Street's interests don't want us to catch on to this.

Lyndon Johnson did not simply make a decision not to run for re-election; the massive movements of the people forced him out of office over his continued pressing of the Vietnam War.

Richard Nixon did not resign from office because he thought he was doing the right thing for the country; he resigned because millions of Americans in motion pushed him out of office.

Trump will never resign of his own volition; there is no one to lead the drive to impeach Trump from the Democratic "opposition."

If we are going to rid our Nation of this rogue Trump Administration there will need to be a groundswell of popular opposition from the grassroots... we will have to rise up like dandelions after a warm spring rain intent on driving Trump and his Administration from the White House intent on cleaning up this mess in Congress, too.

Here is what we are faced with:

Trump won't resign; nor will he be impeached.

And the Democrats will keep trying to shove candidates like Hillary Clinton down our throats.

The way forward should seem very clear...

We need a massive people's movement in the streets along with a new political party not afraid to advance an agenda of peace, social and economic justice.

Don't get caught up in this bullshit about Russian intervention in the 2016 Election, and don't get caught up defending morons like FBI Director James Comey who is just as evil and corrupt as Trump. We need to move beyond this crap.

By the way, I started out quoting David Gergen... I can't stand him either. He is no friend of democracy. He advised Congressman Gerald Ford not to publicly debate me when I was running against Ford for Congress. It just so happens David Gergen accidentally let the truth slip through his lips even though he hopes "the system" will work to rid us of Trump.

Well, why would a system that forced Johnson to push forward with a war he never wanted and a system which wouldn't impeach and prosecute Nixon for his crimes want "the system" to rid us of Trump?

Getting rid of Trump and his Administration is a job that can only be accomplished by a powerful people's movement... some kind of massive, militant and united "people's front."

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Standing Ovation for Barack Obama?

Today former President Barack Obama will receive the "Profiles in Courage Award" at the JFK Library in Boston.
How much "courage" does it take to attack people with drones?

Barack Obama lacks all ethical, moral and political courage; this warmonger deserves this honor about as much as he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize... not at all.

Tell Trump: Hands Off Venezuela!

What do we do to stop Trump's Wall Street government from meddling in the affairs of Venezuela to steal its oil, engage in the super-exploitation of its workers; and, what I think is at least as equally as important as its oil, stopping the building of socialism?

And where does the AFL-CIO stand in all of this? Supposedly when John Sweeney was elected president, the AFL-CIO disentangled itself from the CIA. Yet, today, the AFL-CIO doesn't seem to be supporting this government of the working people headed up by Nicolás Maduro, a bus driver.

There are probably many reasons people can find to disagree with Maduro; but, like the leader of the Venezuelan Communist Party has stated, his Party "is not about about to part ways with Chavismo" over these differences.

We really need a mass anti-imperialist organization in this country similar to the "Anti-imperialist League" Mark Twain was a part of in order to oppose Wall Street's imperialist agenda and to actively support people in other countries standing up to imperialism--- which includes most countries in the world.

William Z. Foster the great U.S. working class leader when asked what the U.S. working class needed most, responded: "A good strong dose of anti-imperialist education."

This remains true today.

Perhaps we should begin this anti-imperialist education by building committees in solidarity with Venezuela calling for ending all U.S. meddling and interference?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Trump, the Democrats and North Korea

Trump says he would like to meet face to face with North Korean leaders.

But, the Democrats don't like that idea; they would rather "isolate" North Korea and destroy its socialist society and economy.

The corporate controlled mainstream news media is doing everything it can to demonize Kim Jong-un; but why when they have so many fascist dictators being propped up by the United States to go after?

But, then Trump gets attacked by the Democrats and right away he calls for "isolating" North Korea.

All the while Wall Street is exploiting cheap South Korean labor as Trump and his hypocrites call for a "non-nuclear North Korea" all the while building the Jeju Naval Base that will host nuclear armed U.S. Naval vessels.

Back in 1982 millions of people marched and demonstrated for nuclear disarmament... its time to get this movement going in full swing again in order to prevent World War III which will be a nuclear war where there will be a long, horrible nuclear winter not even the Wall Street billionaires with their ten year bunkers can survive even though they are dumb enough to think they can.

There is only one way to win peace and nuclear disarmament and that is by taking to the streets since we have been left with no other solutions.

We need a sane and just foreign policy and this is too much to expect from Trump or the Democrats who are beholden to the Wall Street merchants of death and destruction who reap super-profits from militarism and wars.